Returning To Work, Finally


Returning To Work, Finally

Bringing work back into a stay-at-home mom’s routine is like trying to shape three-day-old playdough into something recognizable. The hard, crusty bits take forever to fold into the soft inner layer, and by the time it’s smoothed out, the entire piece is a bit too elastic and not as malleable.

So, here I am, still a bit crusty, but getting more elastic while wishing I hadn’t let myself sit on the table so long. I’ve read article after article about this same phenomenon coming from every angle. How there are organizations to help stay-at-home moms go back to school or catch up on any education they might have missed for their profession over the last decade or so of motherly duties.

There are how-to articles that suggest ways to ease back into the fray without losing your confidence overall. Much man-splaining drivel advocates essentially sucking it up and getting back to work — don’t worry about the HR magician behind the curtain in charge of income differences between yourself and your coworkers.

The positive, negative, and economically driven pieces about returning to work don’t help much. Why? Because nothing can prepare a mother returning to the workforce for the uncomfortable folding of hard, crusty skills into that barely remembered core that is her past experience.

Even writing this article, my fingers feel dumb on the keys. My writing isn’t as supple as it used to be, the imagery is forced and faded.

So, how do I get through it?

How do I work past the fear and discomfort, and bring myself back into the world of the monetarily-rewarded workers? Slowly, carefully, mashing my doubts with healthy disregard and getting myself smoothed out. I’ll write one more article. Try adding one more newsletter to my list. Then, I’ll teach a class in fiber arts and see how it fits. I’m blessed to have the time to find my footing, so I’ll take it and work myself back to something familiar. Hopefully.

A supportive partner is a must. Children old enough to self-entertain while I work, is a perk. Prayer is a foundation for staving off fear.

This is my hope,

This is my prayer,

Please, Lord, help me shape myself into what I’m supposed to be.